International Radio Drama Festival hits the South East Coast
For the fourth consecutive year, Herne Bay will host the UKs only International Radio Drama Festival. Taking place from 19-23 March the festival provides visitors with the chance to hear an incredible selection of diverse radio drama from across the world.
This year the festival provides a platform and competition for 50 different works from 17 different countries ranging from Iran to Iceland and Romania to Russia in 15 languages. The theme is “From Stage to Air”, and the running times of each drama vary from just two to fifty four minutes.
With the help of a Heritage Lottery Grant and sponsorship from both the ALCS and WGGB, the festival team have renovated the second floor of Pettman House (home to the Over 60’s Club in Hanover Square, Herne Bay), transforming it into a welcoming space with a vintage feel. Visitors can tune into the entries in cosy surroundings and enjoy complimentary tea, coffee and cake, as they soak up radio in the old fashioned way, delighting in a much welcome, traditional return to broadcasting, far away from today’s internet, technology and social media habits!
In addition to Pettman House, all entries can be heard at Beach Creative, Beach Street, Herne Bay. Beach Creative provides an accessible venue for visitors and will be celebrating the festival with an open exhibition from 20th ~ 25th, full details can be found at www.beachcreative.org
This is a truly world-spanning event – yet anyone concerned that their understanding of Serbian or Icelandic may be a barrier to enjoying some of the planet’s finest radio drama need not be worried – scripts in English are provided for all the entries!
In addition to the main prize of £2000 which will be chosen by a jury of industry experts, there is also the audience prize which can be voted for in person at the festival or online via the festival website www.radiodramafestival.org.uk. Listeners can join in discussions about what they’ve heard at the end of each day (usually taking place in a local pub!) and, if they are able
A new element of this year’s festival is a workshop for people living with dementia. This follows the success of the 2017 festival taking audio plays into care homes and discovering many of the residents had very fond memories of listening to radio plays. Thus, this year’s festival offers the opportunity for dementia patients to produce their own radio drama with a bespoke workshop tailored to their needs. The final piece will be widely available to download or listen to online with accompanying support material.
Other additional events include a Children’s Radio Festival to engage future generations. It is hoped this event will take place over a weekend later in the Spring.
“Not only do the fish and chips taste better at Herne Bay, but the Radio Drama SOUNDS better! Come and join us to listen to the best from around the world right here on our doorstep!” Nicholas McInery Project Manager
The full programme can be found on the festival website www.radiodramafestival.org.uk